Language Pledge

To take full advantage of their time abroad, students are expected to maintain the spirit of the Middlebury Language Pledge to speak only the language they are studying. With the exception of our programs in Delhi and Oxford, we expect no English to be used in the Schools Abroad offices, except in emergency consultations with the director and his or her staff.

Signed Language Pledge at the Middlebury School in Spain

Signed Language Pledge at the Middlebury School in Spain

Students should recognize that this pledge plays a major role in the success of their study abroad experience, both as a symbol of commitment and as an essential part of the language learning process, as proven by the success of the Middlebury Language Schools. Speaking the foreign language to each other as well as to locals will help students to focus their energies on the acquisition of the language and to internalize the patterns of communication and the cultural perspective associated with the target language. Upholding the Language Pledge pays enormous dividends for students, both linguistically and culturally. Students need to respect the fact that most students are strongly committed to the Language Pledge, and violating it undermines the goals of other students.

Students enrolled in the Schools Abroad (except for India and the United Kingdom) are required to sign the Language Pledge as follows:

To take fullest advantage of my time abroad, I will maintain the spirit of the Middlebury Language Pledge to speak only the language that I am studying. I understand that no English is to be used in the School’s offices, except in emergency consultations with the Director and his or her staff. I recognize that the Language Pledge plays a major role in the success of the academic, social, and personal dimensions of my time abroad, both as a symbol of commitment and as an essential part of the language learning process, as proven by the successes of the summer Language Schools. I understand that speaking the target language with other students on the program as well as with locals will help me focus my energies on the acquisition of the language and internalize the patterns of communication and the cultural perspectives associated with the language.

Violation of the Language Pledge deprives me and my fellow students of a valuable opportunity. By signing this, I agree to abide by the Middlebury College Language Pledge.

Students violating the Language Pledge will be given a verbal warning.  Subsequent violations will result in the following disciplinary action(s):

  1. Written warning.  This is considered informal College discipline and is not part of the student’s permanent record.  The written warning remains in a student’s file until graduation, when it is removed.
  2. Probation.   Notification to the home institution and parents/guardians occurs in cases of probation.  Probationary status is effective for a designated period of time, at the discretion of the director.  Probationary status is informal College discipline and is not part of the student’s permanent record, but a probationary status letter remains in a student’s file until graduation, when it is removed.
  3. Dismissal from program.  Dismissal is official College discipline and is a permanent part of the student’s file.  In case of dismissal from the School Abroad, no refund of the program fee is made.  Parents or guardians and the student’s home institution are informed when students are dismissed.

In all cases, it is important to note that discipline is cumulative at Middlebury, and each infraction will be taken into account in determining future disciplinary penalties and may serve to make further violations of College regulations more serious.

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